A 45-year-old pastor identified as Tope Kolawole is being held by the police for allegedly breaking into a church and carting away music instruments, wall clocks, offering and tithe in Lagos.
Confirming the arrest, the Lagos State Command’s spokesman, DSP Kenneth Nwosu, said the pastor was arrested when he attempted to rob a church at Iyana Ipaja in Lagos on March 31 around 3:30am.
According to the police spokesman, Kolawole allegedly packed the stolen amplifier, two music mixers, one keyboard, one stabiliser, two DVD players and one Samsung plasma 32 inches television together and went to look for a taxi to convey them before someone raised the alarm.
It was gathered that one Alausa, who buys the stolen goods from him, is now at large.
While confessing, the pastor said he had once spent one month in Kirikiri prison for breaking into churches.
Kolawole said: “I specialise in stealing from churches. I steal music instruments. I have a receiver and buyer known as Alausa. Without him, I would not have gone to churches to steal. When he heard that I have been arrested, he went into hiding. I steal in the churches I worship to avoid suspicion. I have been succeeding except this one.
“I was remanded in Kirikiri prison by Task Force from Alausa for hawking on the highway. I am a qualified pastor because I went to theological school and was ordained pastor in 2008 at Ile-Ife by Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) but I worship at Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) at any of their parishes. It is the devil that caused my frustration that made me to steal in the house of God.
“My wife Bunmi is a nurse with children. I live in Sango and go to Lagos to operate because Ogun is good for hiding after operation. It was what the Task Force did to me that made me to become a thief because they made me lose everything I had got in 10 years.
“I used to gather items at about 10:30pm and by 5am, I go to nearby road to look for taxi to take me to Oshodi. Where the taxi driver is in doubt, I call Alausa who claims to be the General Overseer of a particular church I once stole from. He is the one that pays the taxi driver once I deliver the goods.”
Kolawole claimed to have repented, saying: “I am now a born again; if I am released, I will open a church and appoint those suspects elders of my church. We will not rob again but work for God.”